Thursday, June 19, 2014

How to Suffer

"Have this attitude in yourselves which also was in Christ Jesus...."  (Philippians 2:5)

No one said it would be easy, but you're finding it harder than you expected "not easy" to be. Maybe you've been on this hard road a long time, and you're tired. Change seems to be so far up ahead you can't see it. You're not even sure it's there. Giving in is looking better than pressing on.

Maybe you just entered this hard road, and your tender feet are bleeding at every rock in the road. The short time you've been here feels like forever; your mind blacks out at the thought of going any farther.

   You don't want to give up, but you don't want to keep struggling either. What other alternative is there?

Take encouragement from Coach Jesus. He knows about suffering.

While on the cross, His eyes looked beyond His present pain. He focused on the joy up ahead. (Hebrews 12:2). He remembered that pain doesn't last forever; it is a hallway with a door at the end. Better days are coming if you persevere, Dear Sister. God has a purpose for your pain. Giving up only produces regret. What's worse, you miss out on what God planned.

While Jesus suffered, His mind was on somebody other than Himself (Luke 23:34; John 19:26). Like a spoiled child pitching a fit, pain gets louder when you give all your attention to it. Find somebody to love on. Listen to them and look for ways to encourage them. Loving others is a wonderful pain reliever.

Finally, Jesus kept the lines of communication open while He suffered (Mark 15:34).  Don't shut down just because you are hurting and don't understand why. Tell Him how you feel, cry on His shoulder, ask for His help daily.  His mercies are new every morning so be there everyday to receive them. His faithfulness is great, so keep your heart open wide so He can load you up.

Yes, life is hard. There's no getting around it, but you can get through it.

 Determine to suffer well the way Jesus did.

Follow His example, and don't give up!


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